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Government shutdown: Trump’s State of the Union ‘is off’



House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on Wednesday said President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address “is off.”

“The speaker is the one who invites the president … The State of the Union is off,” Hoyer told CNN.

This comes after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent a letter to Trump telling him to either postpone the annual address or submit it in writing due to security concerns linked to the government shutdown. The speech was set to be delivered before a joint session of Congress on January 29.

“Sadly, given the security concerns and unless government re-opens this week, I suggest that we work together to determine another suitable date after government has re-opened for this address or for you to consider delivering your State of the Union address in writing to the Congress on January 29th,” Pelosi said.

Read more: Nancy Pelosi suggests Trump either postpone his State of the Union address until after the government shutdown ends, or submit it in writing

“The U.S. Secret Service was designated as the lead federal agency responsible for coordinating, planning, exercising, and implementing security for National Special Security Events by Public Law 106-544, December 19, 2000,” Pelosi added. “However, both the U.S. Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security have not been funded for 26 days now – with critical departments hamstrung by furloughs.”

The ongoing government shutdown is the longest in US history and is a product of Trump’s insistence on obtaining funding for a wall he wishes to build along the US-Mexico border. Democrats have refused to grant the funding.

Read more:Members of Congress used to wait hours to get the best seats for the State of the Union — but some of them don’t want to be seen with Trump this year

If Trump delivered the State of the Union address, it would be the first to occur during a government shutdown if the impasse did not cease by January 29.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from INSIDER.

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